Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures

Sponsor:

Office of Academic Affairs

Contact:

Director of Collegewide Student Services

Category:

Academic and Student Affairs

Number:

300.006

Effective Date:

2004/05/14

Review Date:

2013/09/01

Implementation History:

Approved by the college Senate on May 14, 2004. Effective July 1, 2004. This supersedes the Academic Integrity Policy approved on Feb. 19, 1999, which superseded the academic dishonesty policy approved in 1980, which superseded the probation and dismissal policy approved in 1977.

Keywords:

Academic, dishonesty, integrity, plagiarism

Background Information:

Purpose

Empire State College expects honesty from students in presenting all of their academic work. Students are responsible for knowing and observing accepted principles of scholarly research and writing in all academic work.

Definitions

Academic dishonesty or cheating includes acts of plagiarism, forgery, fabrication or misrepresentation, such as the following:

  • claiming the work or thoughts of others as your own
  • copying the writing of others into your written work without appropriate attribution
  • writing papers for other students or allowing them to submit your work as their own
  • buying papers and turning them in as your own
  • having someone else write or create all or part of the content of your assignments
  • submitting the same paper for more than one study or class without explicit permission from the faculty members
  • making up or changing data for a research project
  • fabricating and/or altering documents and/or information in support of the degree program.

Statements

College faculty and staff provide guidance regarding academic honesty through new-student orientation programs and materials, learning contracts and study materials, and other college information resources. The college website, print materials, writing centers, writing studies and workshops, as well as innumerable texts on college research writing, provide rich resources for learning in this area.

Mentors, tutors, evaluators and others who make academic decisions (collectively referred to as faculty in the remainder of the document) are responsible for identifying breaches of the college’s academic honesty expectations. Faculty make judgments about whether a breach of academic integrity represents a developmental need or a dishonest act. Faculty determine study, course and credit by evaluation outcomes and respond to breaches of academic honesty expectations in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

The dean of the student’s home center may reprimand, warn or dismiss a student for serious acts of dishonesty in accordance with the procedures that follow.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

N/A

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Related References: Academic Appeals Policy

Procedures

When facing a breach of academic honesty expectations, a faculty member exercises her/his academic judgment in light of the particular circumstances and the student’s academic history. Consultation with the dean and/or faculty chair throughout the process is encouraged.

The faculty member:

  1. reviews this policy and procedures statement
  2. documents the concern to the extent possible
  3. determines whether the breach is intentional and/or knowing, or results from a need for academic skills development
  4. based on that determination, identifies options for responding to the case in accordance with the procedures that follow.

A. When Breaches of Honesty Expectations Result From A Need for Academic Skills Development

  1. When the faculty member determines that a breach of academic honesty expectations resulted from the student’s need for academic skills development, s/he
    • raises the concern quickly and directly with the student
    • continues to work with the student
    • outlines expectations for academic honesty and refers the student to appropriate resources for skills development
    • informs the student’s primary mentor (advisor) of the concern.
    Once a faculty member or study tutor brings a breach of academic honesty to the attention of the student, the student is responsible for learning the necessary skills to prevent such concerns regarding future work.
  2. The faculty member also does one or more of the following or some other appropriate action, at her/his discretion:
    1. provides developmental advice to the student on academic expectations and the nature of the student’s breach of those expectations
    2. requires that the student consult specific research writing or other academic skills development resources
    3. requires that the student rewrite the assignment(s), meeting standards for academic honesty
    4. requires that the student complete additional assignment(s) that meet standards for academic honesty
    5. fails the student on the assignment and/or lowers the student’s grade in the study, if the study is graded
    6. raises the developmental concern in the narrative contract evaluation or other report of the academic decision.
  3. Having provided guidance to the student, the faculty member remains alert to the possibility of further breaches. If the faculty member discovers repeated instances of problematic behavior, s/he considers whether the breach is an intentional/knowing act or if it resulted from a need for further skills development. In general, the college views repeated instances of mishandling source materials as acts of dishonesty, not as a need for further skills development. If the faculty member concludes that a repeated instance is part of the normal process of learning documentation skills, s/he continues to work with the student and follows the procedures in this section. However, if the faculty member concludes that these repeated instances are intentional and/or knowing acts of dishonesty, s/he proceeds as outlined below for cases of academic dishonesty.

B. When the Breach is Knowing or Intentional

Action by the Faculty Member
  1. When academic dishonesty occurs
    1. When academic dishonesty occurs in the context of a study or course, the faculty member normally assigns a no-credit outcome.
    2. When academic dishonesty occurs in the context of individualized credit by evaluation (CBE), the evaluator normally does not grant credit for the  component.
    3. If the faculty member concludes that a no-credit outcome is not warranted for a study or course or that the student should receive credit for the CBE component, then the faculty member follows the procedures for breaches of academic dishonesty resulting from a need for academic  skills development described in the previous. Otherwise, the faculty member follows the steps in the next section.
  2. When a faculty member concludes that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty that warrants a no credit outcome (or the equivalent if the context is other than a study or course), s/he:
    1. raises the concern quickly and directly with the student
    2. assigns a no-credit outcome for the study or course or an evaluation for a CBE
    3. informs the student in writing within four weeks (either through the learning contract outcomes (LCO) form or through a memo) of the determination and the reason for it (and the study outcome as appropriate)
    4. copies the written notice to the student’s primary mentor and the dean (both at the student’s home center or program and at the center or program where the suspected dishonesty occurred, if the two are different).

A student who believes that the determination of academic dishonesty is unfair may appeal that decision through the college’s Student Academic Appeals Policy and Procedures.

Serious Acts of Dishonesty
  1. Possible Penalties. Serious or continued breaches of academic honesty may constitute grounds for formal reprimand, academic warning or dismissal from the college. The following penalties may apply:

    Reprimand: A reprimand is a formal written notice from the dean to the student expressing disapproval of the behavior. It describes the nature of the breach of academic honesty standards, expectations for future behavior and any specific educational requirements. The letter of reprimand is not included in the student’s official college record.

    Academic Warning: An academic warning for academic dishonesty is a formal written notice from the dean to the student providing conditions for continued enrollment in the college. It describes the nature of the breach of academic honesty standards, expectations for future behavior and any specific educational requirements. The academic warning for academic dishonesty is included in the student’s official college record. A breach of academic honesty expectations after an academic warning for academic dishonesty normally leads to dismissal.

    An academic warning for academic dishonesty remains active on the student’s academic record until graduation. While the college retains information internally about the academic warning after graduation, the college clears the official record. If the student pursues additional study with the college, the information is available to college personnel who may consider it if the student breaches academic honesty expectations again.

    Academic Dismissal: An academic dismissal for academic dishonesty is an indefinite separation from the college. The formal written notice describes the nature of the breach of academic honesty expectations. The academic dismissal for academic dishonesty is included in the student’s official college record.

  2. Review of Serious Cases of Dishonesty. If the faculty member, the primary mentor or the dean of the center where the dishonesty occurred believes that an instance of academic dishonesty is serious enough to warrant an official reprimand or possible academic warning or dismissal, s/he refers the case to the dean of the student’s home center. The dean of the student’s home center/program reviews the case and the student’s academic history and determines next steps. S/he may:
    • refer the case to the academic review committee (ARC) for a recommendation on possible reprimand, academic warning or academic dismissal
    • issue a reprimand
    • in consultation with the student’s primary mentor, require additional educational activities and/or provide developmental advice.
  3. Academic Review Committee Procedures. The Student Academic Appeals Policy and Procedures defines academic review committee membership. Academic review committee procedures are as follows:
    1. When the dean refers the case to the ARC, s/he notifies the student in writing within 15 days of receiving the copy of the notice to the student from the faculty member. The dean’s notice provides the student the opportunity to respond in writing to the ARC.
    2. The student has 15 days to submit any written response to the ARC. The ARC considers the student’s response in its review.
    3. The ARC may obtain additional relevant information before or after a hearing.
    4. Academic Review Committee Hearing
      • The ARC should schedule a hearing within 30 days of receiving an academic dishonesty case to consider relevant information. A hearing may take the form of a meeting, conference call or videoconference, at the discretion of the ARC.
      • Each party to a case of academic dishonesty has a right to a meaningful opportunity to be heard and to respond to information and documentation presented. The chair of the ARC ensures a fair and timely hearing of the information and provides an accurate record of the hearing to the dean.
      • The student may attend the hearing and present his or her case directly to the ARC. Likewise, the individual(s) referring the case also may attend the hearing and present relevant information. A student may have an advisor at the hearing; however, the advisor may not participate directly in the hearing.
    5. Following the hearing, the ARC deliberates in closed session. Decisions are made by majority vote. The ARC decides whether the breach of academic dishonesty was intentional or knowing or a result of a developmental need. Based on its conclusion the ARC may:
      • decide that a penalty is unwarranted
      • recommend that the dean issue a reprimand or academic warning
      • recommend that the dean dismiss the student from the college.
    6. Within seven days of the hearing, the ARC transmits its decision/recommendation and rationale in writing to the student, the primary mentor and the dean.
  4. Review of ARC Decision/Recommendation by the Dean. Within seven days, the dean reviews the ARC’s decision on dishonesty and any recommendation for a reprimand, academic warning or dismissal. The dean may decide to issue a reprimand, academic warning or dismissal as appropriate to the situation or may issue another decision.
  5. Written Notice.The dean provides to the student a written notice of her/his decision in the case.
    1. If no penalty is warranted, the dean provides the rationale and advises the student of developmental resources and/or required educational activities as appropriate to the case.
    2. If a penalty is warranted, the dean provides written notice to the student of the penalty, which may be a reprimand, academic warning or academic dismissal. The written notice specifies the effective date of the action.
    3. The dean sends a copy of any written notice to the student’s primary mentor and retains a copy in the center/program file. The dean also sends a copy of written notices of academic warning or dismissal to the Office of the Registrar.
Reinstatement after Dismissal for Academic Dishonesty

For the dean to consider reinstatement, a student must present to the dean convincing written evidence that s/he has come to value the standards for academic honesty and a written affirmation that s/he agrees to follow the college’s Academic Honesty Policy.

The dean of the student’s home center is responsible for acting on requests for reinstatement after academic dismissal. Students are not eligible for reinstatement for at least 16 weeks or one term, whichever is longer, after an academic dismissal.

Students who are academically dismissed a second time for academic dishonesty are not eligible for reinstatement.

If the dean reinstates a student, s/he places the student in warning status. The dean also may establish terms and conditions for re-enrollment that promote academic honesty. For example, the center/program administrator may impose specific conditions, such as requiring:

  • participation in writing center workshops
  • enrollment in studies to build academic skills
  • enrollment in a study on ethics.

Written Notice. The dean sends a copy of any written notice of reinstatement to the student’s primary mentor, retains a copy in the center/program file and forwards a copy to the Office of the Registrar.

Student Appeals

Students may appeal any decision made about academic honesty as outlined in the academic appeals policy and procedures.